Perhaps it’s my age, or my introversion, or … whatever, there are many things that I just don’t understand.
Today, I will riff on television. being later-middle age, having grown up on a steady diet of television, I will admit to watching a reasonable amount of it. However, even with television being part of my life almost forever (to me at least), there are some things that are broadcast that I just don’t understand.
By “Morning” I am referring to the ubiquitous GMA (Good Morning America) and Today show. A mix of topical news (mostly light hearted) and interviews/talk segments, they are Monday thru Friday staples, watched by truly immense audiences.
I bring this up because of the furor of Megyn Kelly’s grossly inappropriate – yet totally in character – racist commentary around how she thought that white children dressed up for halloween in blackface was fine.
This rant isn’t about that, but the general idea of the 3 hours of morning TV that is just so, uh, what is it I am thinking of, yeah, that’s it milque toast programming.
Sure, I understand the genesis of this, back in the early days of television, when most families had one breadwinner (the husband off at the factory) and the stay-at-home mom, who had ample time after the kids left for school. The format is light, the hosts are major personalities (and hence the whisky-tango-foxtrot about the NVBC Executives placing the inflammatory Ms. Kelly in this slot), and mixed with normal morning local news interspersed, it worked.
But that was then. Now? The stay-at-home mom is definitely on the decline (not dead, but close to an endangered species), and the large audience is not so much a guarantee. Sure, it runs in the breakfast rooms of tens of thousands of business hotels, proving mindless backdrops to the business travelers who are scarfing down the powdered eggs, packaged pastries, and bland coffee provided in the “Free” continental (cough cough) breakfast.
But, the ratings remain high, high enough to command significant advertising dollars, and thus the support of the executives.
Perhaps it is a generational thing. You grew up with it on in the morning, while your mother watched it, and thus it is a talisman of your youth, so you continue to keep it running in the background. Seriously, I have seen co workers with it streaming on their laptops in the morning in the office, so I know that familiarity is a strong motivation for at least a part of the target demographic.
But, I just don’t get the format. The bland reporting, the convivial hosts bantering, it is all just so fake.
That is what I just don’t get. It appears to be on because, well, because it has always been that way.
Also, what was NBC thinking putting Ms. Kelly on the morning show. Seriously, her history at Fox News is not a mystery, her pettiness, her thinly veiled racist overtones, her insensitivities, all vividly there in video in her demo reel for all to see should tell you that she is no Al Roker.
And they gave her a $69 million contract. Christ, what is this world coming to?